How to help an alcoholic who does not want to be helped

How to help an alcoholic who does not want to be helped

Alcoholism is one of the most common addictive diseases of the 21st century. Like any addiction, this problem not only affects the addict, but also their family and close friends. Watching a family member, friend or co-worker with an alcohol problem is very difficult, especially if they don’t admit they have a problem. Then the question arises – how to help an alcoholic who does not want to be helped.

Alcoholism is a term used to describe someone who has a problem with excessive alcohol consumption. People addicted to alcohol have both physical and psychological dependence on alcohol. They may have trouble controlling their drinking habits or choose to continue drinking even though it is causing problems that can interfere with their professional and social relationships and even their health.

Alcohol addiction can vary from mild to severe. Mild patterns of alcoholism can develop into more serious complications. Early treatment and intervention can help people who are addicted to alcohol.

Helping a loved one who has an obvious alcohol abuse problem can be tricky. If a friend or family member seems to be struggling with an alcohol use disorder, you may feel scared or helpless. It is important to learn effective ways to talk to an alcoholic, how to find appropriate professional help, and how to support them while they are in treatment. Additionally, it’s important to learn how to take care of yourself throughout this process.

How to recognize an alcoholic - Symptoms and effects of alcoholism

For most people, alcohol consumption is not a problem. Many drink socially, but a large number of people engage in excessive drinking or struggle with alcoholism. It is important to know how to recognize an alcoholic.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as drinking that raises your blood alcohol level to 0.08 per mille or higher. To reach this blood alcohol level, men must drink 5 or more standard drinks in 2 hours. Women need 4 standard drinks. Drinking 5 or more times a month is defined as heavy drinking.

Binge drinking is a dangerous pattern of alcohol consumption that puts a person at risk of developing alcoholism.

Binge drinking, in addition to the risk of alcoholism, can also cause:

Alcoholism is a curable disease characterized by compulsive consumption of alcohol despite the negative consequences for the brain, body and life as a whole. In order for a person not to ruin their life, it is important to know how to help an alcoholic who does not want to be helped.

First, you need to recognize the problem.

Signs or symptoms that indicate alcoholism are:
Experiencing any of these signs can be an indication that a person has a problem with alcoholism.
How to help an alcoholic who does not want to be helped

Characteristics of an alcoholic - What characterizes a person who is addicted to alcohol?

Personality traits are one of many factors that can influence a person’s likelihood of developing an addiction. Characteristics of alcoholics refer to personality traits that indicate that someone abuses alcohol.

Usually, when someone exhibits these characteristics, it indicates that they are struggling with alcohol abuse. It is important to know what changes to look for in order to know how to help an alcoholic who does not want to be helped.

Common characteristics of alcoholics include significant changes in their behavior or personality. There may be visible differences in the way of communication.

Prioritizing alcohol may be one of the most obvious characteristics of an alcoholic. This is a clear indication that someone is abusing alcohol. When a physical dependence on alcohol develops, the addict has no choice but to continue drinking. If they stop, unpleasant symptoms of alcohol detoxification may occur.

Addicts often do not want to go to events where there will be no alcohol, in order to drink freely, at home or somewhere else. Also, the characteristics of alcoholics include that they will appear impatient or irritable until they start drinking. Once they start drinking, they will be much more relaxed.

One of the characteristics of alcoholics is constant shifting of blame onto someone else. They play the blame game. Substance abuse, in general, can lead to problematic behavior that puts the addict on the defensive. They blame others, or circumstances, for their unhealthy behavior. Colleagues, housemates, partners or relatives can become the reason why they developed an addiction.

In addition, alcoholics tend to constantly come up with excuses. Today, many occasions and events involve the consumption of alcohol. Weddings, birthdays and graduations usually come with a champagne toast. There are numerous possibilities for an alcoholic to justify why he drinks.

To avoid responsibility for apparent excessive drinking, someone with the characteristics of an alcoholic will always have an excuse ready.

The characteristics of alcoholics are not always hard to spot

The characteristics of alcoholics are mostly clear, and one of the clearest is the inability to stop drinking alcohol. They will drink much more even if they cannot control their behavior. Also, financial struggles can be a sign that someone is exhibiting the characteristics of an alcoholic. Although many people go through periods of financial instability, in some cases this can be an indication of a substance abuse problem.

Financial problems can arise because intoxicants, including alcohol, are expensive, so addicts spend a lot of money. In addition, financial problems may arise because their work performance is significantly reduced due to addiction. Being intoxicated at work is a serious problem that can lead to the loss of money or require you to leave the workplace.

While under the influence of alcohol, or any other substance, many addicts easily engage in problematic behavior. Then it is very important to know how to help an alcoholic.

While intoxicated, addicts are more likely to get into physical confrontations with others. Drinking and driving is another significant problem. It is important to know how to help an alcoholic who does not want to be helped, so that he does not ruin his life forever.

What is alcoholic dementia and how does it occur?

Alcoholic dementia is a form of dementia associated with excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages. It affects memory, learning and numerous other mental functions. Korsakoff syndrome and Wernicke–Korsakoff syndrome are special forms of brain damage caused by alcohol and alcoholic dementia.

The damage that occurs on the brain under the influence of alcohol is caused by a lack of thiamine, vitamin B1. Eating problems, which often accompany heavy alcohol use, are contributing factors. Certain parts of the brain can suffer damage due to vitamin, thiamine deficiencies and the direct influence of alcohol.

Alcoholic dementia involves symptoms:

Alcoholic dementia can develop in anyone who consumes excessive amounts of alcohol over the years. It most often affects men over the age of 45 with a long history of alcohol abuse, although men and women of any age can be affected. The risk increases for anyone who has been drinking regularly for years.

In the early stages of the development of alcoholic dementia, it can be reduced if the addict abstains from alcohol, improves nutrition and regularly takes vitamins, especially thiamine and vitamin B1. Thiamine is important in counteracting the toxic effects of alcohol and is an important supplement for drinkers.

Support from family and the environment is very important for people with dementia. This is another reason why you need to know how to help an alcoholic who does not want to be helped.

How to help an alcoholic who does not want to be helped

Alcoholic in the family, what to do

Does someone you love drink too much? Coping with a loved one’s alcohol abuse or alcoholism can be painful and challenging for the whole family, but there is a way to help. An alcoholic in the family, what to do – both the addict and the family need help.

So, alcohol abuse and addiction do not only affect the person who drinks, but also their families and all loved ones around them. Watching a friend or family member struggle with alcoholism can be painful and frustrating. An addict may disrupt family life by neglecting responsibilities, getting into financial and legal difficulties, or harassing and even abusing family members.

Coping with a loved one’s alcoholism and the deterioration of your relationship can bring up many distressing emotions, including shame, fear, anger, and self-blame. Long-term denial will only do more harm to you, your loved one with the problem, and the rest of your family.

It is important to remember that you are not alone in your struggle. Alcoholism and alcohol abuse affect millions of people, from all social classes, races, backgrounds and cultures. Help is available and alcoholism can be cured.

How to recognize an alcoholic?

It is not always easy to confirm whether someone has a drinking problem, but it is still possible to learn how to recognize an alcoholic. Some addicts appear well and functional despite their alcohol addiction. However, there are clear signs that indicate alcoholism.

One of the early signs is a pattern of excessive drinking. For men, it’s drinking five or more drinks within two hours. For women, it’s four or more drinks within two hours. Heavy drinking is 8 or more drinks per week for women and 15 or more drinks per week for men. Excessive drinking from time to time does not mean that someone has an alcohol addiction, but it does put them at a higher risk of developing an addiction.

Other early signs include frequent drinking, passing out, expressing aggression, or if the person drinks while in risky or dangerous situations, such as driving.

Physical signs of an alcohol problem:

Having at least two symptoms indicates that a person is an alcoholic. Depending on how many symptoms there are, alcoholism varies.

Mild alcoholism: 2-3 symptoms
Moderate alcoholism: 4-5 symptoms
Severe alcoholism: 6 or more symptoms

Mild alcoholism can progress, which is why it’s important to seek help early.

How to help an alcoholic who does not want to be helped - Conversation with an addict

A constructive conversation is always one of the good ways to help an alcoholic who does not want to be helped. This is not easy, because sometimes if you bring up your concerns, the addict may get angry, defensive, attack you, or deny that they have a problem. These are all common reactions.

It is important to be open, honest and to remember that the choice is always theirs.

Tips for talking to an alcoholic about addiction

What can help during the conversation:
What to avoid during a conversation:
Don’t expect an addict to overcome their drinking problem on their own. They always need support, guidance and new coping skills.
You can encourage an addict to seek help in the following ways:
Your support does not end when the addict agrees to seek help. Recovery is an ongoing process that requires time and patience.

How to help an alcoholic who does not want to be helped – What is the best way to approach an addict?

Knowing how to help an alcoholic who does not want to be helped also means knowing the best way to approach the addict.

First, it is advisable to learn everything about alcoholism. Alcoholism is more than just drinking once in a while. 

Practice what you are going to say. Let the addict know that you are available and that you care. Try to formulate statements that are positive and supportive. Avoid being negative, insulting or rude.

Using “I” statements reduces accusations and allows you to be an active participant in the discussion. It may be helpful to voice your concerns. Instead of saying, “You’re an alcoholic – you need help,” you can say, “I love you and you’re very important to me. I’m concerned about how much you’re drinking and what it’s doing to your health.”

Prepare for each answer. Regardless of the reaction, you should remain calm and reassure the addict that they have your respect and support.

Choose the right time for this important conversation. Talk in a place where you know it will be quiet and where you will have privacy. Make sure the addict is not distracted or preoccupied with other problems. The addict needs to be sober.

If the person is an alcoholic, the best thing you can do is be open and honest. Tell him/her that you are worried about him/her drinking too much and let him/her know that you want to be supportive. Be prepared to face backlash.

You are support! All you can do is offer your help to find out how to help an alcoholic (come aiutare un alcolista). It is up to them to decide what to do. Be non-judgmental, empathetic and honest. Encourage the addict to enter a formal treatment program.

Excuses of alcoholics

The excuses of alcoholics are frequent and using them they try to avoid addiction treatment. These excuses are often symptoms of alcoholism.

Everyone drinks. To an alcoholic, it seems that everyone drinks, because that is their reality.
I am completely fine. Denial is another aspect of addiction.

I’m not hurting anyone. The frequent excuses of alcoholics are that they are not aggressive and that they do not harm anyone. They believe that their problem is nobody’s business.

This is the last time. “There’s no need to seek treatment if I’m never going to get that drunk again, right?” Another common excuse.

They refuse treatment because they have to go to work. This is technically true for most people, but there are also outpatient programs that provide treatment after hours or on weekends.

I can’t afford treatment. There are great clinics that offer treatment at very affordable prices. One such clinic is located in the vicinity of Belgrade and provides excellent assistance to its patients 24/7.

I deserve a few drinks because of a job/family/marriage like mine. Addicts view alcohol as a reward for doing good, hard work, or putting up with everyday life.

I can’t do without a drink. Some alcoholics have convinced themselves that they need to drink in order to get something done or get through.

I can’t stand detoxification. It is natural for alcoholics to be frightened by the thought of going through detoxification and are as common as the excuses of alcoholics (scuse di un alcolista). Nevertheless, the MedTiM clinic significantly facilitates and simplifies the recovery process in the treatment of alcoholism.

How to help an alcoholic who does not want to be helped - Denial is dangerous, and acceptance is key

The refusal of the addict to admit that there is a problem makes it significantly more difficult to get an answer to the question of how to help an alcoholic who does not want to be helped.

Accepting the fact of one’s alcoholism is the first step towards overcoming it. It is also the first step towards forgiving yourself for not being perfect and recognizing that everyone needs help sometimes.

Addiction transforms people into someone new by actually restructuring their brains. Denial is a common side effect. However, the treatment of alcoholism is equally effective regardless of whether the patient came up with the idea of treatment himself or was under pressure.

How to help an alcoholic who does not want to be helped

Who to turn to for problems with alcoholism - Addiction Treatment Clinic

Treatment of alcohol use disorders is an on-going process. Don’t consider your part over when a friend or family member goes to therapy. If you are asking who to turn to for problems with alcoholism, the answer is the MedTiM clinic.

The addiction treatment clinic, MedTiM,
brings together first-class addiction treatment experts who are available 24/7. What is very important, the professional staff is always with the patient, both during the treatment and during the recovery period.

At the MedTiM clinic, the patient is first referred to a psychiatrist, where a personal and family history of the disease is taken so that the doctor can get to know the patient as well as possible.

After that, the patient is referred for laboratory analysis, as well as for a specialist examination by an internist. After taking the medical history, the doctor further decides whether the patient will be subjected to additional analyses (gastroscopy, ultrasound, scanner, etc.).

This is followed by psychodiagnostics, i.e. assessment of cognitive functions and personality assessment through tests. Psychotherapy, one of the most important parts of treatment, is a process where psychologists and pedagogues treat the cause of alcoholism. The patient is directed to change the way of thinking and attitudes that led to the development of alcoholism. Pharmacotherapy is also possible, depending on how the patient responds to treatment.

The staff of the MedTiM clinic educates patients and family members. The goal is for the addict and their loved ones to go through this process as simply as possible. In addition, the MedTiM clinic strives to prevent the co-dependency of the addict’s family and friends.

In the MedTiM clinic, regenerative procedures are also available (hyperbaric chamber, plasmapheresis, massage/lymphatic drainage and others).

How to help an alcoholic who does not want to be helped?

Don’t forget to take care of yourself too. When alcoholism affects a spouse or partner, it is possible to become too preoccupied with their condition. 

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